We need to focus on solutions
Bill English is saying we do not want more prisons because they are expensive and don't work.
It is easy to get into a debate on the don't-work element but I want to focus on the solution.
I don't think anyone means criminals should get away with committing crimes. There is no doubt there are repeat offenders so by letting them go free, they are going to reoffend.
To prevent this happening the solution is to limit their freedom so they cannot reoffend. In fact one of Government's prime responsibilities is to keeps its citizens safe.
So it is obvious to most people and me there is a "lock up" element to any solution.
If it is not a prison it is a "psychiatric unit" equivalent.
This will cost money so crime does have a cost to society.
The overall solution is in educating and training our children on the core values of honesty, responsibility, respect and caring so criminal acts are reduced or ideally eliminated. Even though it will take time for this to materialise into less crime and victims, it has to occur.
Individuals can do something to help by volunteering (doing nothing and hoping it goes away does not work). Life skills are what are missing so much nowadays.
Don't get caught up in the media hype about criminals going free and how bad prisons are. Focus on sustainable solutions.
My son was murdered so I am a victim of a tragic event forever. Victims like me do not want to see you become a victim also. But by doing nothing you increase that risk.
Give something back to society by volunteering and improving life skills.
SIMON COWAN, Taradale
Too many pay rises
The Remuneration Authority has recommended again that Napier Mayor Barbara Arnott receives $5700 for this year, 2011-12, bringing her salary to $105,900.
It was only April 2010 that our mayor received a $10,000 pay rise.
The increase from April to July 2011 will be $15,700, just over $1046 per month.
That seems a lot of money to me as there are so many struggling in our fair city who get under $15,000 to live on in a year.
I actually thought there was a recession.
Well, the politicians don't go without but we must tighten our belts.
The emissions trading scheme (ETS) is costing everyone but look at who's flying overseas for conferences and weddings.
Maybe Mrs Arnott could donate that small amount to some deserving organisations in Hawke's Bay who help our children or young folk.
VAL KING, Clive
In an article published on May 20, two National Party MPs took issue with Labour's Stuart Nash and his stance on tax revenue from the dairy sector. They used terms such as "misleading" and "misguided".
Neither of them said that the figures were incorrect, however, probably because these were official IRD figures. We can only assume that their somewhat rhetorical accusation of "economic illiteracy" is directed at Business NZ and Dairy NZ, who did dispute the figures.
Most Kiwis accept that the total revenue dairy farmers are paid by Fonterra is not the farmer's net income or profit. We will also accept that they need to deduct valid costs and expenses incurred in the running of their business.
However, for farms to be paying an average tax of $1506, the taxable income declared must be less than $15,000 per annum.
I wouldn't be able to afford my power, fuel and grocery bills on that low an income.
Either farmers are making do on very little (in which case Mr Nash's fear of the dairy sector being in dire financial straits is valid), or farmers are declaring personal expenses as business expenses, and avoiding paying tax.
If the latter is the case, then it raises significant issues around fairness (I was never able to declare my mortgage and reduce my tax bill) and we should all applaud Stuart Nash for highlighting it.
WILLIAM JOHNSON, Napier
Wellington Airport's chief executive put on a brave face when fronting up to the media in a valiant attempt to defend the airport company's decision to proceed with the installation of the hillside sign, despite there being overwhelming local opposition to it.
But, to my mind, he was uncomfortable. Wellywood be, wouldn't he?
GARRY WHINCOP, Napier
There are road rules
I no longer drive, and I'm glad I don't, with the lack of sensible drivers these days. I was amused and somewhat saddened at the pomposity of your correspondent David Norman (Letters, May 19).
Here is a person willing to break the rules because his way is the best. As if! Also, Mr Norman, it is a well-known fact that drivers coming into a roundabout, with you giving away to the right, speed up to get through. You can toot all you like, I wouldn't take that risk. You may encounter someone who will get out of their car, approach you and commit road rage. I would be very careful in future.
The road code may lack but at the moment these are the rules. Perhaps you'd better return to Oz?
GERALD BROWN, Napier
As the regional council is about to try to push through the proposed investment company, it seems that consultation is just that - "consult" then you carry on regardless!
Having had lengthy discussions on this last year and been rejected by the regional councillors then for the 2009-19, plan we need to be concerned about the regional council again wanting feedback.
Its structure as reported would, in the words of council: "Ensure that control and accountability are seen to remain with the council".
Therefore, let it remain as status quo - all ratepayers then know that it would be open and visible for their inspection! It is also of concern that there is "talk" that other assets or structures could be incorporated, such as water company.
Water should not be owned or controlled by any company. People need to be aware of water companies elsewhere in New Zealand! And the cost to themselves when this happened.
PAULINE TANGIORA, Hastings
John and Catherine Carroll (Nee Carton) arrived New Zealand in 1876 on the ship Caroline and lived at Kopuaranga, Mauriceville and then Masterton.
A reunion of their descendants is to be held January 20-22, 2012 at the Christian Youth Camp, Ngaruawahia.
The last reunion was held in 1994. Related names are Smale, O'Brien, Brooks, Gleeson, Jensen, Parrish, Salter, Cullotty and Freer.
Contact Margaret E Carroll QSM, phone 07 824 7021 or write to 24 Duke St, Ngaruawahia 3720, or email firstname.lastname@example.org or see Carroll Reunion 2012 on Facebook.